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When the inevitable time comes that you need to make a claim against your insurance, it can feel a little stressful and daunting to know what you need to provide in order for your claim to be processed successfully.

If you have purchased insurance directly from an insurance provider you will need to manage this process yourself. However, if you purchased insurance through an insurance broker, such as Centrewest, they will generally manage the entire claims process on your behalf.

At Centrewest, we have a dedicated in-house claims department to manage all customer claims and strive for a quick and efficient settlement or outcome for our clients.

We have put together a list of tips and items that have helped our clients get the best outcomes on their claims.

Motor Vehicle Claims

Our claims team have put together this helpful checklist for what to do in the event of a car incident. This includes a list of all the details and information your insurer will require, as well as the contact information of two reputable towing companies, if required.

Gathering the details of the other driver/vehicle involved in the incident is extremely important. If you are not at fault for the incident, most insurers will require at least the name, address and registration number of the party at fault in order to have your excess removed.

Home insurance claims

For property claims, excesses are rarely waived when a claim is lodged if a third party has caused the damage. If someone has caused damage to your property, it is best to obtain as much information as you can from the person or company at fault, such as their contact information, as well the time, date and cause of the damage. This information will assist your insurer to recover costs, and once costs are recovered, the insurer can look to refund your excess.

There will be some instances where insurers will require the owner to complete maintenance on their property before any repairs are authorised (for instance, if the owner has a storm claim with water damage). It is best to make sure your property is regularly maintained to mitigate any potential losses from extra maintenance being required (for example cleaning gutters, making sure there are no broken roof tiles or ridge capping).

In instances where your insurer has authorised repairs on your property which leaves it uninhabitable, insurers will typically provide temporary accommodation for you and your pets. For more information about this, please discuss it with your claims team.

Contents claims

Insurers will generally require proof of ownership to accept claims for theft or accidental loss of items, or a large loss claim where items are destroyed (for instance, in a house fire). It is extremely worthwhile to take photographs and keep receipts and recent valuations of any of your valuable items, or retain the user manuals or warranty booklets for items that you own. For ease, we suggest that our clients keep all receipts, photographs, warranties and manuals all together in one electronic document folder. Keeping this documentation will help ensure that you are settled for the full amount for your items.

If you don’t have proof of ownership for all items (especially smaller items), insurers do understand this and will typically cover these items up to an agreed limit. However, if you do not have any proof of ownership for a large loss claim, it can be much harder to recover this cost.

Claims involving theft or malicious damage

For any claims involving theft or malicious damage, insurers will require the incident to be reported to the Police. This can be done easily online or by calling the Police on 131 444.

Business interruption claims

For any claims where there is interruption to your business, many insurers will cover the cost of professional fees to hire an accountant to help you to calculate your total losses, as long as you advise them of this before engaging someone. For more information about this, please discuss it with your claims team.

Claims involving machinery breakdown or electrical damage

For claims relating to machinery breakdowns or electrical damage, in addition to a quote for the repairs, insurers will require a report from the repairer confirming the cause of damage (i.e. fusion, power surge or otherwise). Taking photos of the damaged items is also helpful.  If you provide all of this information at lodgement of your claim, it can help fast-track it towards settlement, if approved. In some instances, insurers will also cover the cost of hiring temporary equipment or temporary repairs. For more information about this, please discuss it with your claims team.

Learn more about the Centrewest claims team.